COMMUNITY VOICES | An open letter to the faith community: A call to action

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40We are a nation divided.Nothing illustrates that more than the cascading protests, rallies, and ardent cries for justice in the aftermath of the “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Those outcries and the concurrent spirit of indifference on the part of many privileged Americans tell us all we need to know about how far we still have to go before we see each other the way God would expect.Indeed, the murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, painfully reminds African Americans as a community that in spite of possessing the unsurpassable worth granted by Christ, black life is without value to the broader society.While many of us expected to hear words of comfort, hope, and a renewed call for love and justice in our respective houses of worship, instead most of us encountered a resounding immoral silence. Although this silence has been most pronounced and identifiable recently, it is not new. It has been a hallmark of our hasty acceptance of a supposedly post-racial nation, and has contributed to the suffering of the most vulnerable, and “the least of these” within our society.Poor people in general suffer from limited opportunity and access to basic necessities. However, poor boys and men of color – especially African Americans – not only suffer in ways that degrade their humanity, but they are systematically excluded from equitable participation within our society, are denied access to equal opportunity, and are blamed for conditions that have been constructed to disadvantage them.These young men are often feared, viewed with suspicion, criminalized, harassed, and treated with contempt. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | In the aftermath of Zimmerman’s acquittal, racial justice remains elusive

Let’s face it, America has not done a very good job of reconciling its ugly and painful history of racism and oppression against African Americans and other people of color. The predominant attitude seems to be that what happened in the past stays in the past and that history has little to no bearing upon current happenings within our society. Sadly, as illustrated in the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin and in the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, this could not be further from the truth. In this case, race played a significant role in the fact that Trayvon Martin, a young African American male, was profiled and stereotyped by Zimmerman as a criminal who was “up to no good,” as he walked in the rain through a gated community in Sanford, Florida.The lingering perception of the Black man as criminal and suspicious has plagued young African American men since the days of slavery and beyond. In fact, throughout the South following the abolition of slavery, laws were created that made standard behavior by Black men a crime and led to high rates of incarceration for that segment of the population. Continue Reading

How will you explain it?

Thanksgiving… a day to reflect and give thanks for what one has. A day in which you have no room for greed. Wait I take that back Thanksgiving this year wasn’t even allowed a day in for which “Black Frday” shoppers were in line hours before Walmart opened at 10 pm Thanksgiving day. Continue Reading

Recent comments

The wise transit choice may not be the popular one…yet – Paul Nelson: Rail transit has a much greater leeway of operation and reliability over rubber tire travel in winter. This is the problem that our auto/car system suffers from. The expense to maintain roads in winter is enormous, and the accident rates in winter are high.What do you think about the St. Francis streakers? – Fima Estrin: Running naked is not a good thing to do, but placing these stupid kids on a sex offenders registry means to ruin their life completely! Continue Reading

We get comments

The 13-year-old who made his plea for “More soccer fields, please” continues to get comments: The anonymous “Grinch” weighs in again, still very unhappy with the idea that someone is helping or encouraging children to campaign for soccer fields: “Children are too susceptible to the influence of those who would manipulate them for their own self-purpose. An extreme example of this type of manipulation would be children molested by adults …” MOREDavid Wooley opines that any flat ground could be a soccer field, without spending lots of money. MOREBruce Leier says “Anonymous” convinced him to support soccer fields: “I was kind of neutral to soccer field at Powderhorn, until your diatribe. … Continue Reading